Some of the greatest salespeople I have worked with have made terrible leaders. And the reason all comes down to their personality style. Simply put, a lot of the greatest salespeople are what we would call a ‘trailblazer’. They are incredibly motivated by results; they love achieving targets and they seem to make selling look easy.
A lot of trailblazers are inherently ‘lone wolves’. They do things on their own, they are fiercely independent, and they don’t give a fuck what people think about them.
However, this can only take them so far – because when they get to a stage in their life and their career where they look to be promoted into leadership positions, they can’t seem to succeed in the same way as they do in sales. These personality traits that got them so far in life, don’t seem to be doing the trick.
A lot of the time they can have unmotivated teams, a lack of morale, they think their team is ‘lazy, people seem to drop in and out and they continue to do things ‘on their own’.
It all comes down to simple psychological principles of the trailblazer. They get results, but they are not so good at relationships and connections. They only take relationships and connections so far as it can get them a result, outcome or sale.
Without knowing it, they can lack culture as leaders – because culture requires connection, culture and relationships.
Whilst this can be a blow to a lot of trailblazers, as they fear failure more than life itself, acknowledgment and awareness is the only way to start building their leadership, culture and relationships. And the brilliant thing about a trailblazer is, once they see that they can do something better and get a different result – they will do it.
For these people – the focus must become how they build relationships, the quality of their relationships, releasing judgments of others and starting to LEARN what it really means to be an effective leader. This can only be done through awareness, training and a deep commitment to learning relationships. Because more often than not, this is a skill that is not second nature to the lone wolf.
And when they can combine their incredible trailblazer nature with connection and relationships, that equals MAGIC.
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